As any Depphead would tell you, Johnny Depp is no doubt one of the most solid entertainers of our time. Other than his captivating onscreen performance, fans have always taken interest in the actor’s tattoos, which are rumored to be more than 30! His most iconic is the one he had inked in 1990.
Depp began his foray into the world of body ink at age 17 when he was just beginning to taste the Hollywood life. His first tattoo, inked on his right bicep is of a Cherokee chief, which he’s said was a way to honor his Native Indian heritage. He had his second tattoo done by Jonathan Shaw in May 1988. Inked on his left bicep, it reads ‘’Betty Sue’’ and is emblazoned on a pierced red heart as a tribute to his now-deceased mother.
Depp’s third tattoo is arguably the most memorable, at least for Deppheads who’ve known him since his days as a tortured teen heartthrob on hit show 21 Jump Street. Inked by artist Mike Messina, the tattoo, prominently displayed on his right arm reads ‘Winona Forever’ in honor of his then-fiancée, Winona Ryder.
What’s the story behind the tattoo?
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were among the most popular celebrity couples of the ‘90s. What with their good looks and intense chemistry. The couple met in 1989 at the New York City’s Ziegfeld Theater during the premier of the Great Balls of Fire. Depp was 27 and Ryder was a young starlet aged 17 years, and they both admitted it was love at first sight.
In true Hollywood fashion, the lovebirds were engaged just five months after their first date. And, in what we can only imagine to be throes of infatuation, Depp soon got ‘Winona Forever’ inked on his arm. Unfortunately, after four years of a whirlwind engagement, the two split up in 1993.
What do you do when you break up with the person whose name is inked on your body? You change it, of course! That’s exactly what Depp did—instead of erasing it, he changed the banner tattoo ‘Winona Forever’ to ‘Wino Forever’ in 1994. We’re not exactly sure whether ‘Wino’ is Ryder’s nickname or if this shortened version means something else to The Lone Ranger star.
Depp has said of his body ink, “My tattoos are like a journal.” In reference to the famous ‘Winona Forever’ one, he has pointed out that to erase the tattoo would be like saying that it (his relationship with Ryder) never happened and that would be dishonest.
So, what happened to Winona?
Winona Ryder has had a long and relatively successful acting career. Her most memorable roles were in the films Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids, and Heathers. Most recently (2016), she has starred in the massively popular Netflix sci-fi series, Stranger Things, a role that has earned her Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations.
So, know you know whose name Johnny Depp had tattooed on his arm in 1990 and how that turned out for him.